GO GEORGE celebrates 6 years of service to the George community

Six years have gone by since the first scheduled buses of George’s own public bus service departed from the York Street depot at 05:00 on 8 December 2014.

George Executive Mayor, Alderman Leon van Wyk (middle back), recently paid a visit to the bus depot and was intrigued to learn from the staff how the canteen was built and established, and is being run by George Link shareholders themselves. “This is the kind of opportunity that GO GEORGE is bringing to our residents,” he said.

It was a momentous occasion as the first four routes rolled out to Rosemoor, Denneoord and Loerie Park, and to the Garden Route Mall – Phase 1 of the George Integrated Public Transport Network had been launched.

“So much was still to be learned and experienced, but we were immensely proud and excited and still have not lost that first enthusiasm and passion,” says GO GEORGE Manager, James Robb.

Since the latest roll-out to Parkdene, Conville, Borcherds and Lawaaikamp in March this year, 26 active routes covering a network of 142 km are now crisscrossing the streets of George, enabling residents to travel to work, school, medical and community services and shops anywhere in town.

George Executive Mayor, Alderman Leon van Wyk, congratulated GO GEORGE, saying that this birthday should be celebrated with pride. “I will always remember the positive comments made in the early days as residents safely gained mobility and access to retail stores and community events in a way not previously available to them. The management team needs to be congratulated on this birthday as they proudly strive for recognition as an excellent bus system operator,” he said.

According to Robb, rolling out the remaining phases of the service proved to be more challenging than envisioned, “but we are positive and looking forward to continue growing the service.”

“Different kind of birthday”

The usual birthday celebrations with communication champions dressed up in colourful costumes and making a joyful noise all over town and handing out treats could not be executed this year due to Covid-19 safety precautions.

“Our focus is different this year,” says Robb. “We are thinking of those who have lost loved ones, their income, the roof over their heads.

“We want to thank our passengers, our staff, our stakeholders in operating the service, the Government departments that have funded our efforts to curb the pandemic – some for their patience and cooperation, some for their support and long hours of work, others for their courage in performing their duties despite the risk involved. We could not have reached this milestone without people who care.”

Passengers are once again reminded to adhere to the simple but effective Covid-19 safety measures required on the bus: wearing a mask covering both the mouth and nose, sanitising or washing of hands, keeping a safe distance where possible, keeping bus windows open for good ventilation, sneezing or coughing into a bent arm, not travelling on the bus when sick, travelling off-peak if possible, and not to use the bus for non-essential trips.

CAPTION: 6th birthday banner: Colourful birthday banners at central spots in town have been reminding residents since last week that GO GEORGE has been part of the community for six years already. The GO GEORGE communications team and champions (appropriately masked and maintaining social distance) gathered under the banner at the Transport Hub in Cradock Street to give the service an enthusiastic thumbs-up.


GO GEORGE vier 6 jaar van diens aan die George-gemeenskap

Ses jaar het verbygegaan sedert die eerste geskeduleerde busse van George se eie openbare busdiens op 8 Desember 2014 om 05:00 uit die Yorkstraat-depot vertrek het. Dit was ‘n grootse geleentheid toe die eerste vier roetes na Rosemoor, Denneoord en Loeriepark, en na die Garden Route Mall die strate inry – Fase 1 van die George Geïntegreerde Openbare Vervoernetwerk is uitgerol.

“Ons sou later nog soveel leer en ervaar, maar ons was geweldig trots en opgewonde en het steeds nie daardie eerste entoesiasme en passie verloor nie,” sê GO GEORGE-bestuurder, James Robb.

Sedert die jongste ontplooiing na Parkdene, Conville, Borcherds en Lawaaikamp in Maart vanjaar deurkruis 26 aktiewe roetes – ‘n netwerk van 142 km – nou die strate van George en stel dit inwoners in staat om werk toe, skool toe, na mediese- en gemeenskapsdienste en winkels oral in die dorp te ry.

Die Uitvoerende Burgemeester van George, raadsheer Leon van Wyk, het GO GEORGE gelukgewens en gesê dat hierdie verjaarsdag met trots gevier behoort te word. “Ek sal altyd inwoners se positiewe kommentaar in daardie vroeë dae onthou toe hulle veilige beweeglikheid en toegang tot winkels en gemeenskapsgeleenthede verkry het op ‘n manier wat hulle nie voorheen beskore was nie. Die bestuurspan moet met hierdie verjaarsdag gelukgewens word aangesien hulle met trots streef na erkenning as ‘n uitstekende busstelseloperateur,” het hy gesê.

Volgens Robb was die ontplooiing van die oorblywende fases van die diens meer uitdagend as wat verwag is, “maar ons is positief en sien uit daarna om voort te gaan met die uitbreiding van die diens.”

“’n Ander soort verjaarsdag”

Die gebruiklike verjaarsdagviering met passasiersdiensbeamptes in kleurvolle kostuums wat regoor die dorp ‘n vrolike geraas maak en lekkernye uitdeel, kan weens Covid-19-veiligheidsvoorsorgmaatreëls nie vanjaar plaasvind nie.

“Ons fokus is vanjaar anders,” sê Robb. “Ons dink aan diegene wat geliefdes, hul inkomste, die dak oor hul koppe verloor het.

“Ons wil ons passasiers en ons personeel bedank, ook alle rolspelers in die bedryf van die diens, die staatsdepartemente wat ons pogings om die pandemie te bekamp, befonds – sommige vir hul geduld en samewerking, sommige vir hul ondersteuning en lang ure se werk, ander vir hul moed om hul pligte uit te voer ten spyte van die risiko daaraan verbonde. Ons kon nie hierdie mylpaal bereik het sonder mense wat omgee nie.”

Passasiers word weereens daaraan herinner om te voldoen aan die eenvoudige maar doeltreffende Covid-19-veiligheidsmaatreëls wat op die bus vereis word: die dra van ‘n masker wat beide die mond en neus bedek, ontsmet of was van hande, handhawing van ‘n veilige afstand waar moontlik, oop busvensters vir goeie ventilasie, nies of hoes in ‘n geboë elmboog, om nie bus te ry wanneer jy siek is nie, buite spitstye te ry, en om nie die bus te gebruik vir nie-noodsaaklike ritte nie.

ONDERSKRIFTE:

6de verjaarsdag banier:

Kleurvolle verjaarsdagbaniere op sentrale plekke in die dorp herinner inwoners sedert verlede week dat GO GEORGE al ses jaar deel van die gemeenskap is. Die GO GEORGE-kommunikasiespan en -passasiersdiensbeamptes (toepaslik gemasker en met genoeg onderlinge afstand) het onder die banier by die Vervoerkern (Hub) in Cradockstraat vergader om die busdiens entoesiasties toe te juig.  

Burgemeester by depot:

George se Uitvoerende Burgemeester, raadsheer Leon van Wyk (middel agter), het onlangs ‘n besoek aan die busdepot gebring en was gefassineerd om by die personeel te hoor hoe die kantien gebou en tot stand gebring is en self deur George Link-aandeelhouers bedryf word. “Hierdie is die soort geleentheid wat GO GEORGE na ons inwoners bring,” het hy gesê.

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